Sun Poisoning Vs. Sunburn: Are Sun Poisoning & Sunburn Same?

Sun Poisoning Vs. Sunburn: Are Sun Poisoning & Sunburn Same?

Sun Poisoning Vs. Sunburn

We all are very cautious when it comes to health. This is the reason why we take extreme care to keep away dehydration and heat exhaustion on a hot sunny day.

The question is why?

Because over-exposure to sun’s ultraviolet rays can lead to sunburns and if the symptoms are combined with fever, chills and flu and others, you may have what is often referred to as sun poisoning.

Dermatologists suggest that sun poisoning is a type of sunburn that mostly affects the skin system.

So how is sun poisoning different from sunburn?

Both skin problems differ from each other in many ways, have a look.


It arises due to the overexposure to ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. It can be mild, medium and severe. The degree of severity depends on the intensity of the UV rays.

Generally, people living around the equator are more prone to sunburns due to high intensity of UV rays.

The higher the latitude, lower is the intensity of UV rays. It can be said that the amount of UV radiation is dependent on angle sun takes during its rotation.

Facts Related To Sunburn

  • Caused due to UV rays
  • In some cases, sunburn can cause skin blisters
  • It can be soothed by home remedies
  • Exclamation Circle
    It is better to avoid sunburn rather treating it

Causes of Sunburns

As stated, sunburn is caused due to the overexposure of UV rays.

What exactly happens to the skin after it gets exposed to the sun?

The UV rays damage the skin. In most cases, the DNA eventually dies. While in others, the DNA of skin cells also gets mutated.

As the skin gets damaged, it starts producing more melanin so as to protect the underlying layers of the skin from further damage.

This extra production of melanin in people makes them look black, some say that the skin has got tanned, some of them also turn red and that’s a sign of a sunburn.

Symptoms of Sunburns

Symptoms of sunburn vary from person to person and so its severity. Generally, mild sunburns have no effect on the skin.

It just causes mild tenderness and redness. The redness may appear after several hours after you get exposed to the sun rays while it may peak within 12-24 hours.

Its main symptoms are:

  • Hot pink or red skin
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Exclamation Circle
  • Exclamation Circle

Sun Poisoning

It is a type of sunburn and is your body’s internal reaction to the sun. In many cases, a person doesn’t acquire the related symptoms until he/she experiences surface level sunburns.

The reactions are systemic and it takes 2-3 days for these reactions to begin.

In other words, sun poisoning is more severe than sunburn. It is the next step that happens after the sunburn.

Some might get sun poisoned even by a mild sunburn and some may not.

Facts Related to Sun Poisoning

  • It is not immediately apparent
  • Fairer skin people are more prone to it
  • People living close to the equator are more likely to have it
  • Exclamation Circle
    Treatment works fine only when it is provided in the first 24 hours of the burn
  • Exclamation Circle
    Not only humans, but animals also get sun poisoned

Causes of Sun Poisoning

It is generally caused due to overexposure of UV rays. Some medications, chemicals, and medical conditions also make the skin sensitive to the sun. Additionally, people with fairer skin are more prone to sun poisoning.

Inheritance is another possible cause of it, that is, if you have siblings or parents with sun allergy there are chances of you getting affected with it.

Some substances such as fragrances, disinfectants, chemicals in the sunscreen, sulfur-based drugs, and painkillers are also probable causes of sun poisoning.

Symptoms of Sun Poisoning

Sun poisoning shares some of its symptoms with sunburn. You shall recognize sun poisoning as a painful looking sunburn and if you have underlying immune disorders of skin you may also experience photo-dermatoses.

So what can be the possible symptoms of sun poisoning? Click here for the list

Thus, to put it simply, the main difference between the sun poisoning and sunburn is the extent of severity and the symptoms that you are experiencing.

Sunburn may not necessarily require medical attention but sun poisoning may require medical help.

Both of them can be prevented, both of them are invariably linked to each other, they also share the ways by which they can be avoided.

Good clothing and covering the whole body by a broad spectrum sunscreen are the ways by which skin can be protected.

Extra preventive measures include monitoring the UV index and staying inside during its peak hours.

Thus, it can be said that sun poisoning is the next level of sunburn, both share some common features can be treated by some common methods.

Related Post

About the Author Linda

Welcome to my blog where I wish to share well-researched, beauty and skincare ideas which can help enrich the quality of your skin and unleash the inner beauty in you! Click Here To Know More..